The Trouble with Christian SoBs

Jesus Among the Doctors, Russian Icon (c. 1800)
Jesus Among the Doctors, Russian Icon (c. 1800)

I mentioned yesterday that I’ll be speaking this afternoon, (6pm Eastern / 5 pm Central), on Catholic Answers Live with Patrick Coffin, on the subject of where the Bible comes from. In light of that, I want to talk about two important related issues: (1) where Christian “Statements of Belief” (SoBs) go wrong in regards to faith and the Bible; and (2) whether the canon of Scripture is even an important issue in the first place. I’ll look at the first of these today, and hold off on the second until next time.

I. The General Problem: Toothlessness

So what’s an SoB, anyway? A “Statement of Belief,” sometimes also called a “Statement of Faith,” is a declaration of a particular group’s beliefs. These are particularly popular in young, contemporary denominations and “parachurch organizations”  (meaning those Protestant groups that aren’t churches, but which sometimes act sort of like denominations).

Traditionally, the Church has proclaimed the orthodox Christian faith with Creeds (from the Latin Credo, “I believe…”), and SoBs are a sort of “Creed lite.” Why lite? Because they’re toothless, and for a few important reasons. First, they are ambiguous as to whether they’re descriptive (here’s what we all happen to believe) or prescriptive (here’s what you ought to believe).  The Southern Baptist Convention describes their “Basic Beliefs” as simply “generally held convictions.” If these are just a collection of popular opinions, who cares? The crowd’s been wrong before (Matthew 27:17-21; Mt. 16:13-14).

Second, SoBs lack any clear authority: why should we listen to, and obey, some random Protestant parachurch organization? That’s not a slam against the good organizations out there doing good work and spreading the Gospel. But if they have no special authority — they’re not the Church Christ founded, they don’t even pretend to be infallible, they contradict one another and have not a great doctrinal track record, historically-speaking — why should I ensure that my Christian beliefs match theirs?

Third, and related to these first two points, they’re toothless because they lack any sort of enforcement. If you read the SoB as saying “you must believe this, or else,” you’d be right in asking “… or else what?” With the Creeds, that answer is clear enough: the Creeds present the faith of the Church, and if you reject it, you’re a heretic or schismatic, and your salvation is imperiled. That’s the explicit teaching of the Athanasian Creed, which begins:

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: …

That’s a stark contrast from “generally held convictions.” So, as a believer, you can’t just ignore or contradict the Creeds. But what about SoBs? What if you disagree with, say, Living Church of God’s (obviously wrong) claim that northwestern Europeans are descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel? Does anyone – including anyone with the Living Church of God – actually think that this denial means that you go to hell?

So already, we see the first problem with SoBs: they are similitudes, cheap imitations, of the Church’s Creeds, but without the authority or the orthodoxy. In this way, Christian SoBs are diametrically opposed to the Creeds in a very particular way. The Creeds were, and are, a source of Christian unity. It’s true that they reveal who’s outside the bounds of orthodox Christianity (schismatics and heretics). But in doing so, they also declare what all Christians believe (and must believe) about the truth: this catechizes the doubtful, and unites the orthodox. But SoBs don’t do that. They merely declare the “general views” of some self-segregating group of Christian believers. In other words, these statements tend to be a needless source of Christian division, not Christian unity.

But there’s another problem, frequently (but not universally) found in specific statements of faith:

II. The Specific Problem: Replacing God with Scripture

The second problem is that they typically try to start from the (ahistorical) 66-book Protestant canon, and move from there to belief in God. This starting point is reflected in many of the contemporary “Statements of Belief” (SoBs) that have supplanted the traditional Creeds. Take, for example, Hillsong, the group that counts celebrities like Justin Beiber amongst its members. Hillsong’s SoB begins, “We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.” International House of Prayer’s begins a bit more specifically: “We believe that only the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired and, therefore, inerrant Word of God. The Bible is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live.” And Campus Crusade for Christ likewise begins their statement of faith by claiming:

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.

You’ll notice that each of them begins without God. These three, and countless others like them, are remarkably similar in that they start with the Bible, and only after establishing that do they move on to declaring belief in the existence of God and in His Triune nature. That’s not a universal rule (there are some exceptions, even amongst contemporary SoBs), but it’s also not a coincidence or a thoughtless error. Rather, it reflects their theology. According to their view of Scripture, it’s only on the authority of Scripture that we can know things like the doctrine of the Trinity.

This is a striking contrast with the true Creeds, which begin with God, the true foundation of orthodox, Catholic Christianity. That’s what we find in the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed (after the preamble quoted above), the Chalcedonian Creed, as well as modern Creeds like the Credo of the People of God, etc. And this, too, is not a coincidence. Scripture has no basis or authority unless you believe in the God who reveals Himself through it. Our faith is not ultimately in the Bible, but in the God who reveals Himself through (amongst other ways) the Bible.

 

It’s a real problem that modern Protestantism gets this wrong, and this isn’t an isolated example. I’ve mentioned before that many Protestants today claim that the Bible is the fullness of revelation. Ironically, the Bible denies this, saying that Jesus is the fullness of revelation (Hebrews 1:1-3a; Colossians 1:15; John 14:9). No less problematic is IHOP’s claim that “only the sixty-six books of the Bible” are the “Word of God.” That’s heretically false. Jesus is the capital-W Word of God, as John 1:1-5 tells us. Although the Scriptures are the word of God in a secondary sense, He is the primary referent, because He’s the Word spoken by the Father for all eternity. He would be the Word even if Scripture had never been written, even if Creation had never existed.

 

Replacing God as the object of faith with a created thing (even a Divinely-created thing, like the Bible!) is the heart of idolatry. It can creep in subtly, but it’s a surefire way to shipwreck orthodoxy. Whether they intend to do that or not, these SoBs give every appearance of having done just that. The foundation of true Christianity is a God who reveals Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. That revelation is contained, in part, by Sacred Scripture, but the Bible doesn’t even pretend to capture the fullness of His revelation (John 21:25; Jn. 20:30-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:15), since the fullness of revelation is a living Person. Believing that the foundation of Christianity is a book — even an inspired book — is a tremendous loss.

Of course, this doesn’t even get to the fact fact that starting from a 66-book Protestant canon makes no sense, historically. That particular canon of Scripture was never used by the early Christians. So if your starting assumption in interpreting Christianity is to assume that the early Christians got the contents of the Christian holy book wrong, you’re off to a bad start. Of course, if you want more on this, you should tune in to EWTN Catholic Radio later today.

 

49 Comments

  1. I want to bring up a few points, not in the spirit of debate but for the sake of giving readers here something to consider:

    “Second, SoBs lack any clear authority: why should we listen to, and obey, some random Protestant parachurch organization?…if they have no special authority they’re not the Church Christ founded…”

    Now, parachurch organizations are not churches, it would be like Augustinian abbots versus Dominican abbots. They have different angles on certain issues that are accepted within the pale of Catholicism, and neither can say they are definitively right on X, Y, or Z issue without essentially making the other party heterodox. To say that are not part of the Church Christ founded because they have beliefs which they do not put on the level of creeds is to me, not correct. So to then apply this standard to Protestantism is at best inconsistent.

    As for the creeds Protestants do adhere to, well, it depends upon the Protestant sect. They have creeds and they have Confessions, which serve exactly the same purpose (you cannot be a Confessional Presbyterian without adhering to Westminster.)

    “…they’re SoBs] toothless because they lack any sort of enforcement…”

    This is true for parachurches, as they are not churches, but not true for creeds and confessions. You cannot be a member in good standing in countless churches without adhering to a given creed or confession. I was banned from Puritan Boards forums for not being Confessional enough, so it spreads to the online world too.

    “…they [SoBs] are similitudes, cheap imitations, of the Church’s Creeds, but without the authority or the orthodoxy”

    This does not include Confessions, however. So, there are Protestants that have beliefs which they belief are representations of orthodoxy that must be upheld.

    It is worth noting I am not Confessional. However, I think a lot of readers will misinterpret this article on SoBs to mean that many Protestants don’t have creeds with defined orthodoxy. This, obviously, would be untrue.

    “According to their view of Scripture, it’s only on the authority of Scripture that we can know things like the doctrine of the Trinity.”

    Well, nature wouldn’t teach us the Trinity and according to Athanasius in De Synodis, the creeds re-presented Scriptural teachings, so I am not sure how anyone can disagree with the quoted statement.

    “Of course, this doesn’t even get to the fact fact that starting from a 66-book Protestant canon makes no sense, historically.”

    This is not exactly true, as we have already discussed at length before (i.e. Jerome, Victorinus, the writer of 2 Esdras all conformed to the modern Protestant view of the Old Testament). Obviously, the modern Catholic position was historically the more popular one. But, to call the Protestant Canon ahistorical, is in of itself an ahistorical statement!

    To quote myself, as I am beginning a commentary on the Book of James, I make the following comments on it’s Canonicity:

    Canonicity of James

    The Epistle of James for whatever reason did not have the unanimous acceptance of the early Church.

    Eusebius writes:

    These things are recorded in regard to James, who is said to be the author of the first of the so-called catholic epistles. But it is to be observed that it is disputed; at least, not many of the ancients have mentioned it, as is the case likewise with the epistle that bears the name of Jude, which is also one of the seven so-called catholic epistles. Nevertheless we know that these also, with the rest, have been read publicly in very many churches (History, Book 2, Chap 23, Par. 25).

    In fact, all the Catholic Epistles (the letters written by all the Apostles other than Paul) all seemed to lack the unanimous acceptance of the Church. That is not to say that for some of these letters we do not have exceedingly early attestations. We have reason to believe that Papias (early second century Father of questionable orthodoxy, though Irenaeus accepted him) was acquainted with Revelation and Clement quoted 2 Peter. However, for whatever reason, these works otherwise did not circulate as widely as Paul’s and the Gospels did. …

    As for the Book of James, our earliest explicit citation of the book is from the works of Irenaeus (Against Heresies, Book 4, Chapter 16, Par. 2). He wrote towards the end of the second century and also considered the Shepherd of Hermas as Canon (which was written only a couple of decades earlier)…Origen quoted the letter extensively, but voiced some doubt of its authenticity in his commentary on Genesis. The book is missing from the Muratorian Fragment, which is the earliest recorded Canon.

    Many Church Fathers felt the tug of its authority, but had problems with its lesser circulation or its supposed contradiction with Paul’s doctrine of justification. For example, Codex Vaticanus (which might have been a Bible commissioned by Constantine) and the Council of Laodicea (360 AD) lack the book as part of their Canons. Even as late as the mid fourth century, notable figures such as Victorinus said James “may also be in heresy” writing that, “Paul could not have learned anything from James (obviously, because he has a different conception of the gospel)” (comments on Gal 1:19).

    By the late fourth century James finally gained mass acceptance, but there was not a single moment in time where the book had attained the universal acceptance of the Church.

    Some people think the wide dissemination of the Vulgate, which included the book, did the trick. However, the Vulgate itself did not replace the Old Latin in mass usage until the sixth century.

    Rather, in the West, the book found its widest acceptance in the Council of Carthage in 419, where Augustine was the main force behind their findings. They found that the Deuterocanonical works were Scripture and affirmed the 27 book New Testament. Until the Council of Trent, no other Council addressed the issue of Canon. Certain New Testament books (specifically Hebrews) sometimes had their detractors over the centuries, but not to the extent of the Deuterocanon.

    It appears that in the East, Athanasius’ endorsement of a 27 book Canon (though Revelation is not read liturgically in the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day) proved pivotal though full acceptance for the Book of James dragged on for another century. In fact, in the farthest reach of the Church in the East, James and other books still lacked full acceptance until the 6th century

    In all, the issue of Canon has never fully been settled. There has always been a “fallible list of infallible books” in the words of R.C. Sproul. Generally, we recognize Scripture based upon the fact that the majority of Christians have always recognized that a certain set of books are Scripture. I believe this corresponds with Calvin’s contention that, in the words of Milton Fisher, “the Spirit of God bears witness to each individual in any age of Church history as to what is His Word and what is not” (p. 75, The Origin of the Bible). (See more: http://christianreformedtheology.com/2016/04/02/reformed-commentary-on-the-book-of-james-introduction/)

    I go into more detail, such as Paul’s quoting of Baruch and Wisdom of Solomon, but I think the above is sufficient to show that the Church had lacked, for a very long time, any universal setting of Canon. The fact that Gregory the Great was personally at odds with the findings of the Council of Carthage and Bishops were all the way until the time of Trent shows that the solidified, 73 book Canon is in reality just as much of an invention of the 16th century as the solidified 66 book Canon was in Protestantism.

    Both Canons, and other varying ones, had support over history. It was not until the 16th century did the issue become completely “settled” in the eyes of these very differing camps.

    1. Craig,

      (1) Your partial quotation of my sentence about parachurch organizations removes important punctuation, and misrepresents (I assume unintentionally) what I said. I’m not saying that they’re not part of the Church. I’m saying that they’re not the Church Christ founded. Nobody, I trust, labors under the delusion that Jesus established Hillsong.

      (2) You say that Protestants “have creeds and they have Confessions, which serve exactly the same purpose.” That’s not true. As you say, if you deny Westminster, you cease to be a “Confessional Presbyterian,” but you don’t cease to be a confessing Christian. The Church has always held that those who knowingly reject the Creeds cut themselves off from salvation. I know of no one who holds the same of denying Westminster.

      So Creeds and confessions don’t serve the same purpose. The Creeds separate orthodoxy from heresy and schism, upon pain of damnation. The Confessions, and even more, the modern SoBs, separate Christians from one another by laying down doctrinal fault lines. Don’t overlook the import of this distinction: one is declaring particular individuals outside of the Church (not outside of your particular denomination, but outside of the Ark of our salvation, the Bride of Christ). The other is basically parting company from other Christians because they don’t share the same mission statement. But this creates schisms within the Body of Christ.

      (3) All of this is connected to the question of Protestant excommunication. This goes beyond the scope of this post, but it’s worth asking: (a) does getting excommunicated from a particular Protestant denomination mean that you are no longer Christian [from their perspective, of course]? and (b) by what authority does any Protestant denomination have to juridically declare someone as cut off from the Body of Christ?

      (4) You say, “Well, nature wouldn’t teach us the Trinity and according to Athanasius in De Synodis, the creeds re-presented Scriptural teachings, so I am not sure how anyone can disagree with the quoted statement.” Because the revelation of Jesus Christ precedes the writing of the New Testament. Jesus reveals the Trinity, even if it took us a while to unpack the fuller implications of His teaching on this point. Surely you wouldn’t say that we could ignore or reject Jesus’ teachings until one of His followers wrote it down, right?

      Christian orthodoxy precedes the New Testament, and one of the ways that the earliest Christians knew whether a particular document was authentic or not was whether or not it was orthodox.

      (5) I’m generally skipping the bits about James and the infallibility of the canon, just to keep things focused, but what’s your basis for the claim, “By the late fourth century James finally gained mass acceptance, but there was not a single moment in time where the book had attained the universal acceptance of the Church”? I’ll get to the need for an infallible canon later this week, I hope.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      1. Three quick points:

        -Your distinction between Creed and Confession is correct. However, if you don’t affirm the Apostle’s creed in Presbyterianism or Lutheranism (in non-liber denominations), that will result in excommunication. Now, a Protestant can simply pack his bags and go somewhere that no one knows them and worship somewhere else, but Matt 18 would state that the discipline is binding. An excommunicated Catholic can do the same thing, I am sure you more than aware that there are quite a bit of liberal Catholics, that deny Orthodoxy, that teach on the university level. I had a Catholic professor, in good standing, that denied Mary’s perpetual virginity. So, just because churches cannot always discipline perfectly, that does not make them non-churches.

        But yes, no one is arguing that a parachurch organization is a church.

        -“Christian orthodoxy precedes the New Testament, and one of the ways that the earliest Christians knew whether a particular document was authentic or not was whether or not it was orthodox.”

        Of course, but you are speaking about a very short window of time in Christian history when those same Apostles taught that the Scripture was binding on the consciences of believers, and instructed their followers to prevent heresy specifically by going by the Scriptures. In 2 Peter 1-2 and 2 Tim 3-4, both essentially the last words of the two greatest Apostles, their advice to combat false teaching is NOT to weigh everything by perceived orthodoxy that is oral tradition. They were specific. They taught that false doctrines are combatted by the Scripture. It would seem that you would seek to undo an Apostolic teaching and replace it with a theoretical one and claim that it is Apostolic. I do not think this is workable.

        -“By the late fourth century James finally gained mass acceptance, but there was not a single moment in time where the book had attained the universal acceptance of the Church.”

        The writings of Athanasius on the Canon, it’s universal acceptance in Africa by the early 5th century, and the fact that Eusebius said in the early fourth century it is read in most of the churches. Lastly, we stop hearing opinions in opposition to the book in the West and in the East, this started stopping too (Chrysostom, for example, exegeted the book.) The Syrian Christians appeared not to have accepted it yet at this point. As we talked about, there was not a single council that settled the issue.

        God bless,
        Craig

  2. I just realized the double entredre in the article title. Surprised by that one!

    Also, I just called into Joe on the show! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zewY9afh_b0&feature=youtu.be

    I wanted to make the comment that most Protestants and some notable contemporary Catholics rejected the Deuterocanon, not for doctrinal reasons, but for reasons pertaining to the lack of Hebrew manuscripts. I do not agree with such reasoning, but it is worth pointing out that it was not entirely a doctrinal dispute.

  3. “why should I ensure that my Christian beliefs match theirs?”
    For Protestants, you don’t have to, and this doesn’t matter. Doctrine doesn’t matter. Even if they say it matters, they say it matters in ways that are not describable or explainable. I’ve heard one say that if it goes against the Bible it matters. But how do you know it goes against the Bible? The answer I’ve got: “You Catholics are desperate for authority.” There you go: it goes against the Bible, in the end, if it goes against a certain individual’s or community’s interpretation of the Bible. But the worst thing that goes against the Bible is if a Catholic disagrees with you.

    “In all, the issue of Canon has never fully been settled.”
    For roughly a millenium pretty much nobody really cared about those issues — until the reformation, of course. If you say it was not settled you must provide evidence that all along those centuries there had always been people who disputed the canon. I can be wrong, so please enlighten me. I don’t see many canon fights in the Middle Ages. (No sola scriptura, either.)

    In this end, it’s just about personal illumination, a vision, an enlightenment, whatever you may call it: “the Spirit of God bears witness to each individual in any age of Church history as to what is His Word and what is not”.

    Sincerely, it doesn’t bear witness to me. The Holy Spirit hasn’t come down to me every time I read a book from the Bible to say: “this book is inspired”. And it hasn’t come down to many faithful regardless of denomination. This is surely a completely ahistorical proposition: only personal revelation from God, a feeling of the individual believer, can justify faith. But we know Protestants have their canon because it’s their tradition. Just like Catholics. You cannot prove that the Holy Spirit has enlightened you, just as you cannot prove that Gabriel hasn’t talked to Muhammad (just like you cannot prove he talked, either). In the end, the affirmation that “the Spirit of God bears witness to each individual” opens the gates for a legitimate production and reproduction of group-specific canons — Gnostics, heretics, Mormons, Adventists and the like. Why hasn’t this happened? Because people learn that there’s a tradition (the 66- or 73-book-canon) that must be followed.

    “73 book Canon is in reality just as much of an invention of the 16th century as the solidified 66 book Canon was in Protestantism.”
    So all we got is inventions. Just that the 73-book-canon was much older than the 66-book-canon. From what I know, most Protestants would rather claim that the 66-book-canon is the true one because we must follow the Jewish canon. And they say the Jewish canon is right because the Jews were right, because if the Jews had some books that were discarded after the 2nd century, they’re right too, because the Christians didn’t have any authority anyway. Of course this argument runs counter to the evidence.

    When Joe said that the 66-book-canon makes no sense, historically, he means that for most of Christianity’s history, there has been no 66-book-canon.
    I’ll pick and choose a 1500-year-old tradition over a 500-year-old tradition any time.

    1. I think you are a little confused as to the issues. In short, the 66 book Canon was not invented in the 1500s. Jerome asserted the same, identifical, 66 Book Canon in his introduction to 1 Kings (if I remember right).

      THe 73 book Canon, was most definitely, more popularly adhered to, but not universally. Gregory the Great in the Moralia all the way to Cardinal Cajetan (Luther’s nemesis) doubted the Deuterocanon. Cajetan, in fact, doubted James, John, Peter, and Revelation in the New Testament too. So, I think your conjecture that there never existed any dispute within Catholicism before Trent is simply not true.

      Lastly, when you speak of there being no Sola Scriptura, I don’t think this is true either. Of course the Church had traditions. Protestants still hold to traditions. We can also argue that some of these traditions are right and wrong. However, the issue pertaining to dogmatic authority was argued even by Thomas Aquinas to belong to the Scripture. I quote the following that was sent to me by another poster here, Max:

      “Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities (secular writers) as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors. Hence Augustine says (Epis. ad Hieron. xix, 1): “Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true, merely on account of their having so thought and written, whatever may have been their holiness and learning.”” (I, q.1, a.8, ad.2)

      I hope this clears things up a little bit.

      God bless,
      Craig

      1. Craig, thanks for your clarification. At the very least, those views you cited were not the majority views. Look what I found which conforms to your views:

        http://www.justforcatholics.org/a108.htm
        Cardinal Cajetan, “Commentary on all the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament,” cited by William Whitaker in “”A disputation on Holy Scripture : against the Papists, especially Bellarmine and Stapleton” ,” Cambridge: Parker Society (1849), p. 424)

        The Canon–Why the Roman Catholic Arguments for the Canon are Spurious
        By William Webster
        http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/canon.html

        http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com.br/2010/01/cajetan-on-canon-hes-ok-bcause-hes-one.html

        And some who don’t share your view:

        http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2084547#post2084547

        For instance:

        G. Michuta: http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=2011309&postcount=92
        (…) Gregory was merely acknowledging that some (namely Jerome) see Maccabees as not canonical Scripture, but only useful for the edification of the Church. In fact, this passage in Gregory is almost Jerome verbatum. As to whether Gregory’s statement reflects that of the early Church, I recommend, with all due modesty, my own book that just went to press this week called Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger (GrottoPress, 2007). I pretty much present and analyse every quotation of the Deuterocanon in the first three hundred years of the Church. The evidence is clear that the Deuterocanon were considered inspired Scripture and that a minority opinion (started by Jerome) rejected them at the end of the fourth century. Gregory is merely acknowledging that even if one wishes to follow Jerome, Gregory’s usage of Maccabees is still valid. The other objections raised are also effectively destroyed in the book as well. I have some material on the Deuterocanon on my website http://www.HandsOnApologetics.com

        Anyway, much more damning to your argument is the affirmation that both the 73-book-canon and the 66-book-canon are inventions. If so, every inspired book list is an invention, a concoction, a figment of the mystical imagination and legal-political power.

        And more damning is also your affirmation:

        Generally, we recognize Scripture based upon the fact that the majority of Christians have always recognized that a certain set of books are Scripture.
        If the argument is for the majority, the majority of Christians have always recognized that the 73 books are scripture, ergo… why don’t you follow them?

        I believe this corresponds with Calvin’s contention that, in the words of Milton Fisher, “the Spirit of God bears witness to each individual in any age of Church history as to what is His Word and what is not” (p. 75, The Origin of the Bible).
        No, as I said, it doesn’t. This quotation has nothing to do with “majority”, it has do to with individualism, and the authority of the individual to determine which part of scripture he likes best. So if someone comes up with the Gospel of Thomas and said the Spirit graced him with the light of understanding and he knows the Gospel of Thomas is an inspired book, so it’s very, very OK.

        1. KO,

          “At the very least, those views you cited were not the majority views.”

          Certainly not on Canon, the majority view was the Council of Carthage position. Aquinas’ reiterating of Augustine’s view, I think in the middle ages before the Renaissance, still held sway.

          “Look what I found which conforms to your views…”

          This seems to be an ad hominem of sorts. I mean, did I cite an established historical fact or did I not? Here’s a Catholic website that affirms both of my contentions, in the same article; http://catholiclegate.blogspot.com/2009/07/cardinal-cajetan-and-8-important-points.html

          You quote Mr. Michuta, but he is wrong. For example, Michuta says, “Gregory was merely acknowledging that some (namely Jerome) see Maccabees as not canonical Scripture, but only useful for the edification of the Church. In fact, this passage in Gregory is almost Jerome verbatum….”

          To quote Book 19, Chapter 34 of the Moralia he makes no reference to quoting Jerome:

          “With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed [1 Macc. 6, 46]…”

          As for examples of other early writers and their Canons, this is an interesting question (for example, why do none of the second century Fathers quote the Deuterocanon?), but not one I think I should argue, because I already said in my first post that the 73 book Canon is the majority position. I have written elsewhere that I respect the Canon and have even argued against Protestants on it: http://christianreformedtheology.com/2016/02/04/protestant-myths-about-the-deuterocanon/

          “Anyway, much more damning to your argument is the affirmation that both the 73-book-canon and the 66-book-canon are inventions. If so, every inspired book list is an invention, a concoction, a figment of the mystical imagination and legal-political power.”

          Not really. A Canon is a rule that the books are from God. There was no universally accepted Canon from anyone in the west until the 16h century, and ironically, both camps arrived at different positions. I am not aware of there being any debate over the centuries in the Eastern Church.

          So, by stating historical fact, I am not robbing any of the books of their inherent God-breathed natures.

          “And more damning is also your affirmation…If the argument is for the majority, the majority of Christians have always recognized that the 73 books are scripture, ergo… why don’t you follow them?”

          Who says I don’t? My position is that because the majority of Christians have recognized the 73 book Canon, that there is very good reason to believe in the 73 book Canon. However, just because a Council says it is so, I don’t think that settles an issue. I think the testimony of the Church at large is much more compelling.

          Now, I understand you don’t believe this, but we come from fundamentally different positions. I have doubt over some of the Deuterocanon, as did many church fathers during the centuries. Here’s a good list compiled by a Catholic website: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#A Look at the Fathers

          “So if someone comes up with the Gospel of Thomas and said the Spirit graced him with the light of understanding and he knows the Gospel of Thomas is an inspired book, so it’s very, very OK.”

          Not really. The fact that no Christians in good standing ever thought this would give us reason to doubt such a claim. However, Christians in good standing have affirmed the Protestant OT such as Victorinus, Jerome, Gregory the Great, etcetera.

          Again, I do not think we are as far apart on the issue as you think other than:

          1. We disagree about the authority of Trent and Catholic councils in general

          2. My main point is that the Scripture is compelling and binding without a Canon, as it was for 1500 years. Joe admitted this much during my call into the show. You have not really confronted this issue.

          My sincerest blessings to you,

          Craig

          1. “As for examples of other early writers and their Canons, this is an interesting question (for example, why do none of the second century Fathers quote the Deuterocanon?”

            They do.

          2. Jayson, I would be interested in citations because I have read everything available (even Theophilus of Antioch) other than the entirety of Against Heresies. I know Irenaeus quotes the Shepherd of Hermas as NT Scripture, but I am not aware of any Deuterocanonical citations in the second century. If you are confident in their existence, then please cite them, I’d be interested.

          3. From the work of James Akin (https://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DEUTEROS.HTM):
            The Didache: “You shall not waver with regard to your decisions [Sir. 1:28]. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to receive but withdraws them when it comes to giving [Sir. 4:31]” (Didache 4:5 [ca. A.D. 70]).
            Pseudo-Barnabas: “Since, therefore, [Christ] was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, ‘Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves’ [Isa. 3:9], saying, ‘Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us’ [Wis. 2:12.]” (Epistle of Barnabas 6:7 [ca. A.D. 74]).
            Clement: “By the word of his might [God] established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. ‘Who shall say to him, “What have you done?” or who shall resist the power of his strength?’ [Wis. 12:12]” (Epistle to the Corinthians 27:5 [ca. A.D. 80]).
            Polycarp: “Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood [1 Pet. 2:17]. . . . When you can do good, defer it not, because ‘alms delivers from death’ [Tob. 4:10, 12:9]. Be all of you subject to one another [1 Pet. 5:5], having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles [1 Pet. 2:12], and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed [Isa 52:5]!” (Epistle to the Philadelphians 10 [ca. A.D. 135]).
            Irenaeus: “Those . . . who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts and do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt toward others and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat [Matt. 23:6] and work evil deeds in secret, saying ‘No man sees us,’ shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance, nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust perverted your heart’ [Dan. 13:56]. You that have grown old in wicked days, now your sins which you have committed before have come to light, for you have pronounced false judgments and have been accustomed to condemn the innocent and to let the guilty go free, although the Lord says, ‘You shall not slay the innocent and the righteous’ [Dan. 13:52, citing Ex. 23:7]” (Against Heresies 4:26:3 [ca. A.D. 190]; Dan. 13 is not in the Protestant Bible).
            Irenaeus: “Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left on the earth, should both be under the rule of the saints and to minister to this [new] Jerusalem and that [his] kingdom shall be in it, saying, ‘Look around Jerusalem toward the east and behold the joy which comes to you from God himself. Behold, your sons whom you have sent forth shall come: They shall come in a band from the east to the west. . . . God shall go before with you in the light of his splendor, with the mercy and righteousness which proceed from him’ [Bar. 4:36- 5:9]” (ibid. 5:35:1 [ca. A.D. 190]; Baruch was often reckoned as part of Jeremiah, as it is here).
            Hippolytus: “What is narrated here [in the story of Susannah] happened at a later time, although it is placed at the front of the book [of Daniel], for it was a custom with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their writings. . . . [W]e ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest anyone be overtaken in any transgression and risk the loss of his soul, knowing as we do that God is the judge of all and the Word himself is the eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah” (Commentary on Daniel 6 [A.D. 204]; the story of Susannah [Dan. 13] is not in the Protestant Bible).
            Cyprian: “So Daniel, too, when he was required to worship the idol Bel, which the people and the king then worshipped, in asserting the honor of his God, broke forth with full faith and freedom, saying, ‘I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who created the heaven and the earth’ [Dan. 14:5]” (Epistles 55:5 [A.D. 252]; Dan. 14 is not in the Protestant Bible).
            Cyprian: “In Genesis [it says], ‘And God tested Abraham and said to him, “Take your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the high land and offer him there as a burnt offering . . . “‘ [Gen 22:1-2] . . . Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon [it says], ‘Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality . . .’ [Wis. 3:4].
            Of this same thing in the Maccabees [it says], ‘Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'” [1 Macc. 2:52; see Jas. 2:21-23] (Treatises 7:3:15 [A.D. 248]).

          4. Craig,

            At last, I think we agree, as you said: “My position is that because the majority of Christians have recognized the 73 book Canon, that there is very good reason to believe in the 73 book Canon. However, just because a Council says it is so, I don’t think that settles an issue. I think the testimony of the Church at large is much more compelling.”

            Of course, the Council said so because there were people who were preaching otherwise. Nothing settles an issue because one group accepts another Canon and rejects the other group’s authority to settle anything. It does both ways. What you mean by the Church at large might mean the majority of Christians, and if that’s what you mean, we agree, too — Catholics and Orthodox are and have always been the majority of Christians worldwide.

            “My main point is that the Scripture is compelling and binding without a Canon, as it was for 1500 years.”
            We agree again! But then, most people take it for granted that the Canon is just represented by the authorized copy (volume) of the Bible, a codex containing all those books, or the books that are considered inspired by God. A Canon is just the gathering or the set of books accepted as inspired.

            Either way, it’s either the majority view or the “personal mystical aura of the enlightened individual” kind of canonicity argument. You can’t have it both ways.
            “the Spirit of God bears witness to each individual in any age of Church history as to what is His Word and what is not” is not the same as “individuals of good standing”. Good standing is a social argument. For more than a billion people, Luther is not a Christian in good standing (at most he’s irrelevant).
            Even then, for most of Christianity’s history there has been no 66-book Bible, and that suffices for me. Eastern Christians’ seemingly “non-issue” with the Canon suffice me also as an argument from silence. (Never heard of a Byzantine emperor rise in defiance of the canon.) Michuta’s book and CK’s list are also excellent, so I see no reason for further debates since you said you accept the 73 books as scripture.

          5. I misspoke. I should have said “quote the Deuterocanon [as Scripture].” I am well aware that even Paul quoted the Deuterocanon (I linked to this idea in my first reply here). My sincere apologies for the confusion.

          6. Craig, first you said they didn’t quote it. Now you say they didn’t quote it as scripture. There is nothing in Rock’s or CK’s list that proves that those quotations were not intended as scripture, but as profane books. Your claim is just a logical contortion.

      2. Does not the Scripture say: ‘Burden not thyself above thy power’?
        – Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2, VI:207)

        Here Saint Jerome quotes Sirach 13:2 (‘Burden not thyself above thy power’) as “Scripture”.

        1. When did he write that statement when compared to his introduction to first kings? Jerome learned Hebrew later in his life and formulated his opinions on the matter over time.

          1. I couldn’t find a date for the introduction, but it’s my understanding it was between 390 and 405.

            The date for the letter I posted appears to be 404.

          2. Thanks Daniel. Unlike KO’s flippant response, your response answers a relevant historical question. It shows that Jerome either (1) repudiated his earlier beliefs or (2) quoted Ben Sira as Scripture out of custom. Obviously, the former is the more likely. If he wrote that letter before his introduction, then it would be more likely that he repudiated the Deuterocanon instead of accepted it. So, thanks for the information!

            The following is my last response on this thread, I’ll give KO the last work. I tried posting it yesterday but I am not sure why it didn’t work:

            KO,

            “At the very least, those views you cited were not the majority views.”

            Certainly not on Canon, the majority view was the Council of Carthage position. Aquinas’ reiterating of Augustine’s view, I think in the middle ages before the Renaissance, still held sway.

            “Look what I found which conforms to your views…”

            This seems to be an ad hominem of sorts. I mean, did I cite an established historical fact or did I not? Here’s a Catholic website that affirms both of my contentions, in the same article; http://catholiclegate.blogspot.com/2009/07/cardinal-cajetan-and-8-important-points.html

            You quote Mr. Michuta, but he is wrong. For example, Michuta says, “Gregory was merely acknowledging that some (namely Jerome) see Maccabees as not canonical Scripture, but only useful for the edification of the Church. In fact, this passage in Gregory is almost Jerome verbatum….”

            To quote Book 19, Chapter 34 of the Moralia he makes no reference to quoting Jerome:

            “With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed [1 Macc. 6, 46]…”

            As for examples of other early writers and their Canons, this is an interesting question (for example, why do none of the second century Fathers quote the Deuterocanon?), but not one I think I should argue, because I already said in my first post that the 73 book Canon is the majority position. I have written elsewhere that I respect the Canon and have even argued against Protestants on it: http://christianreformedtheology.com/2016/02/04/protestant-myths-about-the-deuterocanon/

            “Anyway, much more damning to your argument is the affirmation that both the 73-book-canon and the 66-book-canon are inventions. If so, every inspired book list is an invention, a concoction, a figment of the mystical imagination and legal-political power.”

            Not really. A Canon is a rule that the books are from God. There was no universally accepted Canon from anyone in the west until the 16h century, and ironically, both camps arrived at different positions. I am not aware of there being any debate over the centuries in the Eastern Church.

            So, by stating historical fact, I am not robbing any of the books of their inherent God-breathed natures.

            “And more damning is also your affirmation…If the argument is for the majority, the majority of Christians have always recognized that the 73 books are scripture, ergo… why don’t you follow them?”

            Who says I don’t? My position is that because the majority of Christians have recognized the 73 book Canon, that there is very good reason to believe in the 73 book Canon. However, just because a Council says it is so, I don’t think that settles an issue. I think the testimony of the Church at large is much more compelling.

            Now, I understand you don’t believe this, but we come from fundamentally different positions. I have doubt over some of the Deuterocanon, as did many church fathers during the centuries. Here’s a good list compiled by a Catholic website: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#A Look at the Fathers

            “So if someone comes up with the Gospel of Thomas and said the Spirit graced him with the light of understanding and he knows the Gospel of Thomas is an inspired book, so it’s very, very OK.”

            Not really. The fact that no Christians in good standing ever thought this would give us reason to doubt such a claim. However, Christians in good standing have affirmed the Protestant OT such as Victorinus, Jerome, Gregory the Great, etcetera.

            Again, I do not think we are as far apart on the issue as you think other than:

            1. We disagree about the authority of Trent and Catholic councils in general

            2. My main point is that the Scripture is compelling and binding without a Canon, as it was for 1500 years. Joe admitted this much during my call into the show. You have not really confronted this issue

            My sincerest blessings to you,

            Craig

          3. Mea culpa! I thought I’d approved your earlier comment, but apparently not (I have now). The issue isn’t length, but the number of links (at least, as far as I can tell) — when there are too many, WordPress flags it as spam, and I have to let it out of the queue.

  4. KO said – And they say the Jewish canon is right because the Jews were right, because if the Jews had some books that were discarded after the 2nd century, they’re right too, because the Christians didn’t have any authority anyway. Of course this argument runs counter to the evidence.

    Me – I agree. I never understood this reasoning. If the majority of the Jews had followed Christ we’d be called Jews instead of Christians. To say that the Jews that denied Christ have more OT authority than the Jews that did not deny Christ is ludicrous, but these are the kinds of positions that have to be taken in order to justify removing books from the bible.

    1. Agreed. Justin Martyr was already attesting to the fact that the Jews were corrupting the Scriptures. Modern Judaism includes hellenestic dualism (they ascribe to God a male and female “shakina” glory, good and evil to God, and other blasphemies), which makes Judaism the only major, gnostic religion existent in the present day. Anyone who argue that “the Jews,” which have nothing to do with Jews of the first century, have anything to do with preserving Scripture are essentially saying pagans know the Scripture better than men of God. This obviously is a foolish contention.

      Plus, as Joe pointed out on the show, there were disputes within Judaism over the Canon (Wisdom of Solomon’s and Ben Sira’s inclusion) and there was never a council of Jamnia.

      I am half Jewish, so I am not trying to bash Jewish people, just the theological tenets of rabbinic Judaism.

  5. Joe,

    I am on the board of a non-profit organization. We provide eye care services to people in our community and through overseas mission trips. We support a variety of local churches to provide glasses on their trips in addition to our surgical trips. Prior to my involvement, they developed a SOF, which I am including. Surprisingly, I think it is pretty good considering, there is no mention of Faith or Grace alone but almost exclusive to fulfilling His commandments as He impels us to do so, and is trinitarian. My only issue is with the first point, God of the Bible. God is more than just the Bible. I get what they are going after; i don’t think they intend to say there are other gods. BTW, I am the only Catholic on the board.

    Statement of Faith:
    We believe:
    that there is one true God, the God of the Bible, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    that God guides, inspires, and strengthens us through His Holy Spirit and Word.
    that as Christians, we live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we consider this the Good news to the world.
    in His commandments to love God above all, and our neighbors as ourselves.
    that God impels us to make a difference in our world
    that we should always act out of love, considering all men and women as our brothers and sisters.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    Bill

  6. My local Church of Scotland minister recently organised a series of meetings at his church to discuss the meaning of the Creed. He also invited four other ministers to preach about different parts of the Creed. Finally, he invited members of his congregation to produce alternative Creeds because, well, basically he’s not a fan of any ancient Creed. He’s also not enthusiastic about any kind of belief. As far as he’s concerned what we believe is not important; what’s important is what we do. To get a flavour of his views, here is his interpretation of the opening statement of the Creed.

    “This week we look at ‘I believe in God the father Almighty maker of heaven and earth’. Where do you begin?
    If this was to be reworded, and perhaps that might be a way forward during this season, it might read:
    Everything I am has chosen to trust a way of life shaped by a love that has given everything (as a father or mother does) in order for life to happen life that is both grounded in the places, people and relationships I have and beyond what I understand, see or know found in hope, possibility and belief.”

    So you don’t have to produce a new statement of belief if you don’t like the Creed. You simply make the Creed mean anything you want it to mean.

    1. Mike,

      Very true, unfortunately. This is why it’s important not just to affirm (and believe) the words, but the authentic and original meaning of the words.

      A subtler but more widespread form of affirming the words while denying the meaning involves the phrase “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” in the Nicene Creed. To the Christians of the fourth century, this was an unambiguous reference to the visible Catholic Church, in contrast with the various heretical sects. Modern Protestants will affirm these same words, but strip them of their meaning, making “Catholic Church” mean something like “the invisible collection of all of the saved,” a signifier so meaningless and intangible that any Nestorian or Manichean could have affirmed it without hesitation.

      1. Here’s a thought experiment:
        Would Christianity exist today in any discernible form if Protestant principles of sola scriptura, sola fide, and individual interpretation had been applied from the outset.

      2. Joe, another perfect example of this is the many Protestant sects who will recite the creed and say, “one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” and affirm it in the sense of a “spiritual baptism” and not a water baptism that literally cleanses one of orginal/actual sin as the Council Fathers intended.

        1. Good point. When you change the original meaning, the creed becomes somewhat nonsensical to those who understand what the authors of the creed meant and believed.

          If one of the original authors had a discussion about the creed with Protestants today it would go something like this… http://youtu.be/K5fn087Jk4I

  7. Craig said – Jayson, I would be interested in citations because I have read everything available (even Theophilus of Antioch) other than the entirety of Against Heresies. I know Irenaeus quotes the Shepherd of Hermas as NT Scripture, but I am not aware of any Deuterocanonical citations in the second century. If you are confident in their existence, then please cite them, I’d be interested.

    Me – Quick google search…

    Patristic Quotes of Deuterocanonical Texts

    http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=24423.20;wap2

    << >>

    Asteriktos:
    I finished sorting through some of the quotes and references from above to verify whether they were actual quotations or not, and added some other references as well. I’ve done up till around the time of the First Ecumenical Council…

    St. Clement of Rome (1st century)
    St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians, 55 – Judith 8 – Discusses the actions of Judith
    St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians, 3 – Wis. 2:24 – possible allusion
    St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians, 27 – Wis. 12:12 – possible quote
    St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians, 34 – Sir. 4:29 – possible quote

    Didache (c. 100)
    Didache, 4 – Sir. 4:31 – quotes it

    St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 50-107)
    St. Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians, 3 – Sus. 52 – possible allusion

    Pseudo-Barnabas (2nd Century)
    Pseudo-Barnabas, Epistle of Barnabas, 6 – Wis. 2:12 – introduced a combined quote of Is. 3:9 and Wis. 2:12 with the phrase “the prophet speaks against Israel”, but is probably confused about the origin of the Wisdom quote, but it does show that he knew of Wisdom and had read it enough to quote from memory
    Pseudo-Barnabas, Epistle of Barnabas, 19 – Sir. 4:31 – quotes it

    St. Polycarp (c. 69-155)
    St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians, 10 – seems to quote Tobit 4:10 and/or 12:9

    Tatian (c. 120-180)
    Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 7 – alludes to Wis. 2:23

    St. Irenaeus (c. 125-202)
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 5, 2 – Bel and the Dragon (Daniel 12:4-5) – quotes it as being written by Daniel
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 26, 3 – Sus. 56 – quotes it and says it is “found in Daniel the prophet”
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5, 35, 1 – Bar. 4:36-5:9 – talks about it as being by “Jeremiah the prophet” and quotes at length
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2, 28, 9 – Wis. 9:17 – possible allusion
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 20, 4 – Baruch 3:38 – possible allusion
    St. Irenaeus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 97 – quotes Bar. 3:29-4:1 – introduces the quote by saying “Jeremiah saith concerning her”
    St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 38, 3 – Wis. 6:19 – possible allusion

    St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215)
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 1, 4 – Sir. 1:1 – quotes it as from the Wisdom of Jesus
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 1, 10 – Sir. 19:22 – quotes it as from the Wisdom of Jesus
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 1, 21 – Bel and the Dragon – quotes as though an authentic part of Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 2 – Wis. 7:17-22 – quotes as from the “book of Wisdom”
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 5 – Sir. 15:10 – quotes but misattributes to Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 5 – Sir. 6:33 – quotes but misattributes to Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 7 – Judith 8:27 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 15 – Sir. 1:27 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2, 23 – Tobit 4:15 – quotes passage as “Scripture”
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 4, 11 – Wis. 3:1 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 4, 16 – Wis. 3:2-8 – quotes passage and introduces with “the divine Wisdom says of the martyrs”
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 4, 19- Judith – mentions her as an example of faith
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 5, 3 – Sir. 27:12 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 5, 14 – Wis. 2:12 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 5, 14 – Wis. 7:24 – quotes passage as from book of Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 8 – Wis. 7:17-22 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 11 – Wis. 6:10 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 11 – Wis. 7:16 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 11 – Wis. 14:2-3 – quotes passage as from Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 12 – Tobit 12:8 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 12 – Wis. 2:22, 25 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 14 – Wis. 3:9 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 14 – Wis. 3:14 – quotes passage as from Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 14 – Wis. 4:17 – quotes passage and attributes to Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 14 – Wis. 5:3-5 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 15 – Wis. 2:16 – quotes passage as from Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 15 – Wis. 6:12-15 – quotes passage as from Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6, 15 – Wis. 6:17-18 – quotes passage as from Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 1:18 – quotes passage as from the book of Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 1:22 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 16:12 – quotes passage as from the book of Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 21:6 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 22:6-8 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Sir. 34:14-15 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 8 – Wis. 11:24 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 9 – Sir. 7:23-24 – quotes passage as from book of Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 9 – Sir. 16:12 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 9 – Sir. 18:13-14 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 9 – Sir. 30:8 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 9 – Sir. 32:21 – quotes passage and misattributes to Solomon
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 1, 13 – Sir. 33:6 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 1 – Sir. 18:32 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 1 – Wis. 6:17-18 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 1 – Wis. 16:26 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 2 – Sir. 26:8 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 2 – Sir. 31:19-29 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 3 – Bar. 3:16-19 – quotes passage and called it Divine Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 4 – Sir. 34:15-16 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 5 – Sir. 21:20 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 6 – Sir. 20:5-8 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 14:1 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 9:9 – quotes passage as from Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 9:15 – quotes passage as from Wisdom
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 9:18 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 31:16-18 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 31:31 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 32:3-8 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 7 – Sir. 32:11 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 8 – Sir. 38:1-2, 8 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 8 – Sir. 39:13-14 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 8 – Sir. 39:26-27 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 10 – Sir. 18:30 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 10 – Sir. 19:2-5 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 10 – Sir. 23:4-6 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 10 – Sir. 23:18-19 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 10 – Wis. 7:10 – possible allusion to passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2, 11 – Sir. 11:4 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 3 – Sir. 25:6 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 4 – Sir. 9:16 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 4 – Sir. 11:29 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 11 – Sir. 9:8 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 11 – Sir. 26:9 – quotes passage
    Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 11 – Sir. 21:21 – quotes passage as Scripture

    Tertullian (c. 160-220)
    Tertullian, On Prayer, 16 – Tobit 12:12 – May refer to Tob. 12:12, or it may refer to other Scriptures (Lk. 1:11; Rev. 8:3-4)
    Tertullian, Antidote for the Scorpion’s Sting – Bar. 6:3-5 – quotes of the book and attributes the words to Jeremiah
    Tertullian, On Monogamy, 17 – mentions Judith
    Tertullian, Against the Valentinians, 2 – Wis. 1:1 – quotes and says it is by Solomon
    Tertullian, Against Marcion, 3, 22 – Wis. 2:12 – quotes it
    Tertullian, Prescription Against the Heretics, 7 – Wis. 1:1 quotes it as coming from “the porch of Solomon”
    Tertullian, On Fasting, 7 – Bel 31-39 – mentions passage as though an authentic part of Daniel

    St. Hippolytus (?-236)
    St. Hippolytus, Exegetical Fragments, On Susannah – did commentary on Susannah from Daniel, in which he also mentions Tobias, Sarah and Raphael from Tobit (Exegetical Fragments, On Susannah, 55)
    St. Hippolytus, Exegetical Fragments, On Daniel, 3 – mentions 1 Maccabees

    Pope Callixtus (3rd century)
    Pope Callixtus, Epistles, 2, 5 – Tobit 4:15 – quotes it and introduces it as “sacred scripture”

    Origen (c. 185-254)
    Origen, Letter To Africanus, 13 – Tobit 1:12-22 – quotes it, says the Jews do not use it or have it in their canon, but that “the Churches use” the book
    Origen, Letter To Africanus, 7 – Mentions the story of Susanna
    Origen, Against Celcus, 5, 19 – Tobit 12:7 – quotes the book by name
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 2, 16 – Judith 9:2 – alludes to passage
    Origen, Against Celcus, 5, 29 – Wis. 10:5 and Wis. 1:4 – quotes them and says that they are from the “treatise of Solomon”
    Origen, Against Celcus, 3, 60 – Wis. 1:4 – quotes passage
    Origen, Against Celcus, 7, 8 – Wis. 1:5 – quotes passage
    Origen, Against Celcus, 4, 5 – Wis. 1:7 – quotes passage
    Origen, First Principles, 3, 1 – Wis. 7:16 – quotes passage and calls it Scripture
    Origen, First Principles, 1, 2 – Wis. 7:25 and again Wis. 7:25-26 – quotes passage as coming from Wisdom of Solomon
    Origen, Against Celcus, 3, 72 – Wis. 7:25-26 – quotes passage and introduces it as “the word of God”
    Origen, Against Celcus, 8, 14 – Wis. 7:25-26 – quotes passage as establishing “who the Son of God is”
    Origen, Against Celcus, 6, 13 – Wis. 9:6 – quotes passage
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 10, 19 – Wis. 9:6 – quotes passage
    Origen, First Principles, 4, 33 – Wis. 11:17 – quotes passage as from Wisdom of Solomon, but says that it is “a work which is certainly not esteemed authoritative by all,” and seems to indicate that he doesn’t consider it part of the Bible canon
    Origen, First Principles, 2, 9 – Wis. 11:20 – quotes passage as Scripture
    Origen, Against Celcus, 4, 28 – Wis. 11:26-12:1-2 – quotes passage
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 6, 36 – Wis. 17:1 – quotes passage
    Origen, First Principles, 2, 3 – Wis. 18:24 – quotes is as being found in Wisdom of Solomon
    Origen, First Principles, 2, 8 – Sir. 6:4 – quotes as though part of “holy Scripture”
    Origen, Against Celcus, 8, 50 – Sir. 10:19 – quotes with the introduction “the divine word says”
    Origen, First Principles, 4, 26 – Sir. 16:21 – possible allusion
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 6, 20 – Sir. 18:7 – quotes as Sirach
    Origen, Against Celcus, 4, 28 – Sir. 18:13 – quotes passage
    Origen, Commentary on Matthew, 12, 22 – Sir. 18:30 – quotes passage
    Origen, Against Celcus, 6, 7 – Sir. 21:18 – quotes passage as part of “holy Scripture”
    Origen, Against Celcus, 7, 12 – Sir. 21:18 – quotes passage
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 13, 4 – Sir. 27:11 – quotes passage as in the “Book of Wisdom”
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 11, 12 – Sir. 28:25 – alludes to the passage
    Origen, Against Celcus, 4, 75 – Sir. 39:16-17, 21 – quotes passage but doesn’t know the origin, introducing it thus: “one of our own wise men says somewhere”
    Origen, First Principles, 2, 8 – Sir. 43:20 – quotes passage as “holy Scripture” and coming from “the book of Wisdom”
    Origen, First Principles, 2, 1 – 2 Macc. 7:28 – calls Maccabees by name “Holy Scripture”
    Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 1, 18 – 2 Macc. 7:28 – alludes to passage

    Anonymous (c. 255)
    Anonymous, A Treatise Against the Heretic Novatian: That the Hope of Pardon Should Not Be Denied to the Lapsed, 18 – quotes Sir. 2:10-11 as having divine authority or inspiration

    St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 208-258)
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 1 – Tob. 2:2 and Tob. 4:5-11 – quotes as from Tobit
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 6 – Tobit 2:14 – quotes passage by name
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 62 – Tobit 4:12 – quotes passage by name
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 7, 10 – Tobit 2:14 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 7, 10 – Tobit 12:11-15 – quotes passage and speaks as though they are the authentic words of the Archangel Raphael
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 8, 5 – Tobit 12:8-9 – quotes and says that they are the words of “Raphael the angel” and speaks as though they are authentic
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 8, 20 – Tob. 4:5-11 and Tob. 14:10-11 – Quotes it as being from Tobit
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 4, 33 – Tobit 12:12-15 – Quotes as being from Tobit and being spoken by “Raphael the angel”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 4, 32 – Tob. 20:8 – quotes as “Holy Scripture”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 11 – Tobit 13:6 – quotes and attributes to Tobit
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 51, 22 – Tob. 4:10 – quoted and introduced as being from the “Lord”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 4 – 1 Macc. 2:62-63 and 2 Macc. 9:12 – quotes and says they are “in the Maccabees”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 11 – 2 Macc. 6:30 and 2 Macc. 7:9-27 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 15 – 1 Macc. 2:52 – quotes as being in the Maccabees
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 17 – 2 Macc. 6:30 and 2 Macc. 7:9-19 – quotes as being from the Maccabees
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 53 – 1 Macc. 2:60 – quoted as from the Maccabees
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 54, 3 – 1 Macc. 2:62-63 – quotes as part of “Holy Scripture”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 8, 5 – Sir. 29:12 – quotes and attributes to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 8, 2 – Sir. 3:30 – quotes and introduces it with the words (along with a previous text) “The Holy Spirit speaks in the Sacred Scripture”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 9, 17 – Sir. 2:4-5 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 9 – Sir. 27:5 – quotes and attributes to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 2, 1 – Sir. 24:7 – quotes passage
    Treatise 12, Book 3, 1 – quotes Sir. 3:30 as though it’s part of Proverbs, but a short time later quotes Sir. 14:11 and Sir. 29:12 as being in Sirach
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 20 – Sir. 1:14 – quotes but seems to misattribute it to the Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 6 – Sir. 27:5 – quotes and attributes to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 12 – Sir. 23:11 – quotes and attributes to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 35 – Sir. 5:4 – quotes and introduces it as “In Solomon, in Ecclesiasticus”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book, 51 – Sir. 10:26 – Quotes with the introduction “In Solomon, in Ecclesiasticus”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 53 – Sir. 3:21 – quoted and attributed to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 53 – Sir. 7:17 – quoted and attributed to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 95 – Sir. 9:16 – quotes as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 95 – Sir. 6:16 – quotes as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 95 – Sir. 9:13 – quotes as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 95 – Sir. 25:9 – quotes as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 95 – Sir. 28:24 – quotes as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 96 – Sir. 4:29 – quoted as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 97 – Sir. 5:7 – quoted as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 109 – Sir. 7:39 – quoted as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 110 – Sir. 28:15 – quoted as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 111 – Sir. 34:19 – quoted as from Ecclesiasticus by Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 113 – Sir. 4:10 – quoted as from Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 68, 7 – Sir. 28:24 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 54, 21 – Sir. 28:24 – quoted being introduced as “the Holy Spirit speaks through Solomon”
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 64, 2 – Sir. 7:29, 31 – quoted and introduced with “Solomon, established in the Holy Spirit, testifies and teaches”
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 70, 1 – Sir. 34:25 – quotes it as valid for establishing doctrine
    Seventh Council of Carthage (258) – quotes Sir. 34:25 and says it is “written in Solomon”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 11 – Bel 5 – quotes and introduces with the words: “Daniel, devoted to God, and filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaims and says”
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 55, 5 – Bel 5 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 20 – Sus. 1-3 – quotes as being in Daniel
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 20 – Song of the Three Children 14-19 – quotes as being in Daniel
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 4, 5 – Bar. 6:6 – quotes it and introduces the passage by saying: “The Holy Spirit, moreover, suggests these same things by Jeremiah, and teaches, saying”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 7, 23 – Wis. 4:11 – quotes and introduces it as “the Holy Spirit teaches by Solomon”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 10, 4 – Wis. 2:24 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 1 – Wis. 15:15-17 – quotes passage as coming from Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 1 – Wis. 13:1-4 – quotes passage and attributes to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 11, 12 – Wis. 3:4-8 – quotes passage and introduces it by saying “The Holy Spirit shows and predicts by Solomon, saying”
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, 2, 14 – Wis. 2:12-22 – quotes as from the Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 15 – Wis. 3:4-8 – quotes as Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 16 – Wis. 5:1-9 – quotes it but attributes it to Proverbs
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 53 – Wis. 1:1 – quoted and attributed to Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 58 – Wis. 4:11, 14 – quotes as being from the Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 59 – Wis. 15:15-17 – quotes as from Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 59 – Wis. 13:1-4 – quotes passage
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 66 – Wis. 3:11 – quoted as from Wisdom of Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Treatise 12, Book 3, 112 – Wis. 6:6 – quoted as being from Solomon
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 51, 22 – Wis. 1:13 – quoted as though through divine revelation
    St. Cyprian, Epistle 61, 1 – Wis. 3:11 – quotes passage
    St. Cyrian, Epistle 80, 2 – Wis. 3:4-8 – quoted and introduced as “sacred Scripture”

    St. Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 200-265)
    St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (Fragments) Books on Nature, 3 – Sir. 16:24-25 – quotes passage with the introduction “listen to the divine oracles”
    St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (Fragments) Books on Nature, 5 – Sir. 16:27-28 – quotes passage
    St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (Fragments) Epistle to Bishop Dionysius of Rome, 4 – Wis. 7:25 – quotes passage
    St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (Fragments) Epistle 10: Against Bishop Germanus, 4 – Tob. 12:7 – alludes to passage

    Archelaus (3rd Century)
    Archelaus, The Acts of the Disputation With the Heresiarch Manes, 29 – Wis. 1:13 – quotes passage

    St. Victorinus (c. ?-304)
    St. Victorinus, On the Creation of the World – 1 Macc. 2:31-41 – alluded to

    St. Methodius of Olympus (c. ?-311)
    St. Methodius of Olympus, (Extracts From) Work on Things Created, 9 – Sir. 1:2 – quotes passage as from Sirach
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Marcella, 1 – Sir. 6:36 – may allude to passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Thallousa, 4 – Sir. 6:36 – may allude to passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Marcella, 3 – Sir. 19:2 – quotes passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Marcella, 3 – Sir. 23: 1, 4, 6 – quotes passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Thekla, 3 – Bar. 3:14-15 – quotes passage as by Jeremiah
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna, 10 – Bar. 3:24-25 – possible allusion, attributed to an “illustrious prophet”
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Discourse on the Resurrection, 1, 8 – Wis. 1:14 – quoted passage as from the “Book of Wisdom”
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Discourse on the Resurrection, 1, 11 – Wis. 2:23 – quoted passage as from the “Book of Wisdom”
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Theophila, 3 – Wis. 3:16 – quoted as Scripture
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Marcella, 3 – Wis. 4:1-2 – passage quoted and introduce with the words: “And in the Book of Wisdom, a book full of all virtue, the Holy Spirit, now openly drawing his hearers to continence and chastity, since on this wise”
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Theopatra, 5 – Wis. 4:2 – passage quoted
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Agathe, 5 – Wis. 4:2 – alludes to passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Marcella, 3 – Wis. 4:3 – passage quoted
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Theophila, 6 – Wis. 4:6 – quotes passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Arete, 1 – Wis. 7:9 – quotes passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, (Other Fragments), 5 – Wis. 12:1 – quoted as by Solomon
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna, 6 – Wis. 15:3 – quotes passage
    St. Methodius of Olympus, Concerning Chastity, Theophila, 7 – Wis. 15:10-11 – quotes passage and introduces it with the words “And those artificers who, to the destruction of men, make images in human form, not perceiving and knowing their own Maker, are blamed by the Word, which says, in the Book of Wisdom, a book full of all virtue”

    St. Peter of Alexandria (c. 260-311)
    St. Peter of Alexandria, Fragments, 5 – Sir. 20:18 – quotes passage

    St. Alexander of Alexandria (c. ?-328)
    St. Alexander of Alexandria, Epistles on the Arian Heresy, 1, 5 – Sir. 1:2 – quotes passage
    St. Alexander of Alexandria, Epistles on the Arian Heresy, 1, 5 – Sir. 3:20 – quotes passage

    Lactantius (c. 260-330)
    Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4, 16 – Wis. 2:12-22 – quotes passage and attributes to Solomon
    Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4, 13 – Bar. 3:35-37 – quotes passage as by Jeremiah
    Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4, 8 – Sir. 24:5-7 – quotes passage as by Solomon

    1. It is almost like someone is using the crib notes for the exam to be administered at the James White/Jack Chick convention.

    2. Thanks CK!

      I looked at the list for some careful attention. My contention stands because from what I know (though if I am technically wrong, I apologize), that Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian all essentially wrote in the early third century (though they were alive for some time before that).

      The earlier fathers surely alluded to the Deuterocanon (as Paul undoubtedly did more than once in the Epistles), but they are not quoted as Scripture. Jude, after all, explicitly quoted books which none of us accept and his quoting of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses does not make them Scripture, as he did not refer to them as Scripture.

      I DO think a strong case can be made for Jeremiah and the additions, and Daniel and the additions. They were both quoted by Irenaeus as Scripture, likely because he used the Septuagint and he was not aware of Jeremiah or Daniel without these additions. Further, being that the Septuagint is arguably more reliable, it can be argued convincingly that the additions are perhaps legitimate, and more ancient than the Hebrew renderings. However, this cannot be construed to mean that the said writer endorsed books in the Deuterocanon, as he would be merely endorsing Jeremiah and Daniel, books that the Hebrews of his time also accepted.

      I would be very interested if an ECF before the third century specifically called any of the Deuterocanon Scripture. If we want to say Origen or Clement of Alexandria fit the bill on the tail end, then sure I will concede that then. Again, I am not necessarily against the Deuterocanon, so I am not personally vested in it one way or the other.

      God bless,
      Craig

      1. Craig said – Thanks CK!

        I looked at the list for some careful attention. My contention stands because from what I know (though if I am technically wrong, I apologize), that Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian all essentially wrote in the early third century (though they were alive for some time before that).

        Me – You are welcome!

        I find it interesting that you are specifically looking at the second century. Why not first or third? It seems arbitrary. What’s so special about the second century? Do you apply this standard for everything else?

        I’ll dig deaper.

      2. I am not a Scripture scholar, but it seems unnecessary to find an ECF specifically naming a Dueterocanon book as “Scripture” when referring to or quoting from one of the books. The mere fact that the Deuterocanon is being quoted by them on matters of faith seems to be both a recognition that the Deuterocanon was commonly read, and accepted as truth, whether such quote is characterized as Scripture.

        1. Mike,

          What you said is certainly reasonable. I think the only caution we should take historically when confronting the matter is that apocrypha is quoted in the Scripture (Assumption of Moses and Enoch). So, while citing Deuterocanon is certainly suggestive, it is not smoking gun proof. The only formula in the Scripture and in the Fathers that assures us that they viewed any given passage as Scripture is by saying “it is written” or some reference to the passage being Scripture.

          It is also worth doing, for those here interested, is crosschecking those references. There have been three such lists posted here so far. “Rock” quoted a list which even in the first couple of lines, appears to be seeing quotations of Jesus of Sirach in the Didache that are not there. So, not everything on those lists can be construed as real references, as some are paraphrases are simple references to events or idioms found in the Deuterocanon. When listed, it looks impressive, but when actually read side by side, less so.

          For what it is worth, I am reading Esther and the additions in my personal reading.

          God bless,
          Craig

          1. I’m not sure I understand your position entirely but it seems as if your primary test for Scripture in this exchange inclusion is:

            1.We should only accept deuterocanonical books as Scripture if they are explicitly called Scripture by 2nd and 3rd Century Church Fathers. “The only formula in the Scripture and in the Fathers that assures us that they viewed any given passage as Scripture is by saying “it is written” or some reference to the passage being Scripture.”

            I have questions regarding this criterion:

            1.Do all the books of your Old and New Testament books pass this test? If so, can you demonstrate this? If not, should we jettison this criterion?
            2.What are we to make of early synods that explicitly called deuterocanonical texts Scripture?
            •The council of Rome (382AD, before the Council of Carthage) explicitly calls deuterocanonical texts Scripture: “Now indeed we must treat of the divine scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Joshua [Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books [that is, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books; Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book, Ecclesiastes, one book, [and] Canticle of Canticles [Song of Songs], one book; likewise Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book . . . . Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book; Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books”
            •The Council of Hippo (393 AD, before the Council of Carthage) explicitly calls deuterocanonical texts Scripture: “[It has been decided] that besides the canonical scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the canonical scriptures are as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, and a portion of the Psalms], the twelve books of the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . .” (Canon 36)

          2. Let’s also not forget that the 1st Ecumenical Council refers to Sirach as scripture. Those who are in the reformed camp and proclaim that there is a distinction between sola/solo scriptura usually say that the Ecumenical Councils are binding. Yet the councils are generally only read nominalistically and when the councils contradict private interpretation, they are relegated back to the position of small “t” tradition. Another overarching problem with the Protestant paradigm is that it makes scripture the sole criterion for faith and morals and yet cannot give a coherent account for what is and is not scripture; it is self-referential. The most consistent protestants are those who accept the reality that the 66 book canon is axiomatic.

          3. Craig, You are nitpicking.
            Sirach 1:28 states: “Do not disobey the fear of the Lord; do not approach him with a divided mind.”
            The Didache 4:5(a) states: “You shall not waver with regard to your decisions.”
            The Didache 4:5(b) states: “Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to receive but withdraws them when it comes to giving.”
            Sirach 4:31 states: “Let not your hand be extended to receive, but withdrawn when it is time to repay.”

            Here is a classic example of the Deuterocanonicals. Wisdom 2:12-24 states “‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, so that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.’ Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discerned the prize for blameless souls; for God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.”
            Clearly, this is prophetic. Can you imagine how effectively Paul, Peter or any other Apostle or disciple of our Lord used this passage when speaking to Jewish individuals or congregations, whose scriptures were the Septuagint (inclusive of the Deuterocanonicals) throughout the ancient Greek Empire and the Roman Empire. It is no wonder Paul commends the Bereans in Acts 17:11 for their faithfulness to search the Scriptures in light of the oral Gospel tradition he delivered to them. It is easy to see how the early Christians found support for the Gospel in these Scriptures. And, conversely, it is easy to see why the Jewish religious authorities would look to omit Wisdom from their Old Testament scriptures.

  8. I’ll give you guys the last word on this, but let me make brief final comments:

    Jayson: “Let’s also not forget that the 1st Ecumenical Council refers to Sirach as scripture.”

    Can you point out where for me? Here is a link to the Canon’s of Nicea: http://www.christian-history.org/council-of-nicea-canons.html

    Further, I got the following list of Deuterocanonical books from a Catholic website. It does not include any council before the 8th century:

    Deuterocanonical Quotations from the Ecumenical Councils:
    Nicea II: Canon 16 (787) – Sirach 1:25 (scripture)
    Constantinople IV: Canon 10 (869) – Sirach 11:7 (scripture)
    Lateran IV: Section 70 (1215) – Sirach 2:12, 3:28** (it is written)
    Vienne: Section 14 (1311) – Sirach 24:17
    Section 24 (1311) – Wisdom 5:6**
    Section 38 (1312) – Sirach 24:31, 1:5; Susannah/Daniel 13:42**
    Basle/Florence: Session 21(1435) – Sirach 18:23 (scripture)
    Session 3 (1438) – Wisdom 10:20 (it is written)
    Session 6 (1439) – Tobit 12:20**
    Session 7 (1439) – Susannah/Daniel 13:9
    Session 9 (1440) – Wisdom 5:21**

    Theological Inquirer: There’s a lot there, but I think you misunderstand my replies. My criteria for Scripture IS NOT whether the Scripture quotes something as Scripture (for not all Scripture is quoted within Scripture) nor is my basis whether or not a church father mentions something as Scripture before the third century. I have made clear several times, I do not have a firm conviction concerning how many books are in the Canon and I have no problem affirming 73 books, though I have my doubts about several books as several fathers do. I believe it is a historical question without a concrete answer.

    Also, the Council of Rome might have not really addressed the issue of Canon, as Catholic historians believe that the Decretum Gelasanium is a later interpolation. Further, the first council of carthage likely did not address the issue of Canon. So, we are left with the Council of Carthage in 419 though the book of Hebrews appears to be added at a later date (http://www.bible-researcher.com/carthage.html)

    Rock: “You are nitpicking”

    I’m honestly not trying to, your list incorrectly said that certain verses were being directly quoted, when in fact they were being alluded to (probably). There is a difference between the two. And yes, WoS is prophetic 🙂

    God bless,

    Craig

  9. And in the proverbs Solomon tells us that as “the north wind driveth away rain, so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.(Prov. 25:23)” It sometimes happens that an arrow when it is aimed at a hard object rebounds upon the bowman, wounding the would-bewounder, and thus, the words are fulfilled, “they were turned aside like a deceitful bow,” (Psalm 128:57) and in another passage: “whoso casteth a stone on high casteth it on his own head.” (Sir. 27:25) Jerome, To Rusticus, Epistle 125, 19 (A.D. 404), in NPNF2, VI:251

    St. Jerome quotes Proverbs 25:23 as fulfilling Scriptures, in the plural. Not just one Scripture. He then quotes the two Scriptures that it fulfills. One is Psalm 128:57 and another is Sirach 27:25. Scripture is thus fulfilled.

  10. In occasionally checking church or organizational websites, I will usually look for their Statement of Faith/Belief. Besides the weakness that Joe mentioned of starting with a belief in Scripture, often a weakness in theology is evident. The succinct precision of the Nicene Creed has not been approached by any SoB that I have seen, and I have seen formulations of the Godhead that skirt pretty close to historical heresies.

    Why do they feel a need to re-invent the wheel? If you have a problem with the Nicene Creed (though I cannot imagine why), at least tie your wagon to a respected historical Protestant Confession.

  11. I have been raised as a protestant, moved to a new city, looked for a new church. I find the protestant denominations to be like the wild west. I am a tired of the inconsistency from church to church. So I decided to try something else. I have started attending the Episcopal church. I like the consistency and routine. It seems like a protestant version of catholic. The book of common prayer calendar has me reading something named “The Wisdom of Solomon”. But that book is not in my Bible. So I found this site trying to find the answer to the question of Would I be a heretic to read something religious that is not the Bible. Now I am very confused. Help.

    1. Glen,

      Great question. Wisdom of Solomon (sometimes just called “the Book of Wisdom”) is not a heretical book. In fact, Wisdom 2 has one of the clearest Christological prophecies in the Old Testament.

      This is a book that was accepted by some (but not all) of the Jews at the time of Christ, and was accepted by the early Christians. Some Protestants removed it from the Bible after the Reformation, but it remains an inspired and wholesome book. Glad you asked, and please feel free to ask anything else troubling you as you navigate the Wild West!

      I.X.,

      Joe

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